Smithtown leaders pursue potential parking lot in Kings Park

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Smithtown Town Board members have sent a letter of interest to the owner of a vacant Kings Park property on which some businesses and residents want to build a municipal parking lot.

Councilman Robert Creighton said the proposed lot could provide 40 parking spaces on the 12,800-square-foot property located on Pulaski Road, west of Main Street.

The property was appraised at $230,000 this year, but the owner plans to sell it for $279,000, said Smithtown Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski.

The May 8 letter is not a formal offer but is "just to get them to contact us so we can start negotiating," Jakubowski said.

"We have not heard from the property owner at this point."

Matthew Lupoli of Flushing, Queens, whom the town identified as the property owner, did not immediately return a call for comment.

Creighton initiated the proposal for the parking lot last November, garnering 750 petition signatures, he said.

Gabe Shtanko, who co-owns the nearby Park Bake Shop with his wife, Lucy, said, "If you want businesses to grow, we need parking."

But Supervisor Patrick Vecchio has said residential taxes should not be used to "benefit private owners."

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Councilwoman Lynne C. Nowick questioned whether the town could make up construction costs by charging users. She cautioned against using meters, which she said were costly to install in Bay Shore.

Councilman Thomas McCarthy said he was interested to see if the town could secure grants for downtown parking, "otherwise, it's real expensive to take it upon yourself, with the 2 percent tax cap you have to stay under."

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